Some Social Sciences Perspectives in public health
Generally, health and illness are considered to be subject matters of health sciences and medical
sciences. This review paper is an attempt to put forth some social sciences perspectives in
public health. It starts with different sociological theories put forth by functionalists, Marxists,
and feminists to give social explanations for health and illness. Then it talks about the role of
placebos in the process of curing and healing which goes beyond medicalisation. Then the
paper talks about structural determinants of health where it discusses Marxists’ view point as
well as liberal school of thought. The paper then discusses how public health professionals
have objectified the measurements of severity of disease. The paper then relates health
transitions to frailty thesis and also to undernutrition in South-African and South-Asian
populations. Increased medicalisation of mental health has also been discussed in the paper. At
the end of paper, role of healthcare system has been emphasized to put in place structural
determinants of health like food security, safe water supply, sewage, sanitation, good working
conditions, education and robust health services system.
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